Hungary bars citizens from legally changing their gender

President Ader Janos has signed a law that bars citizens from legally changing their gender, in a move decried by critics as violating trans rights. The law changes “sex” to “sex at birth” on birth certificates – reversing a policy that has allowed legal gender recognition of trans people by banning amendment of the initial entry.

“We will not give up fighting this law,” said the Háttér Society, Hungary’s largest LGBTQI NGO. “We call on the Ombudsman, Ákos Kozma, to initiate the nullification of the law via the Constitutional Court due to its unconstitutional nature.”

Transvanilla trans equality organisation started a petition that has so far gathered 26,000 signatures, urging European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to “condemn the Hungarian government for this action and ensure all possible tools are being used to protect the fundamental rights of Hungarian trans and intersex people.”

The NGO promised to appeal to the Hungarian Constitutional Court and is already representing 23 trans people with an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

The country’s constitutional court has previously ruled on several occasions, last time unanimously in 2018, that legal gender recognition is a fundamental human right.

According to the latest annual review of the LGBTQI rights in Europe done by ILGA-Europe, Hungary ranks 27 out of 49 European countries based on their sexual minority protections, dropping from 9th place in 2013. 

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